Curriculum Vitae


Assistant Professor of History & Environment and Society
Brown University
July 2016-present

PhD   University of California, Berkeley, History, 2016

MA    University of California, Berkeley, History, 2011

MA    Brown University, International Development, 2007

BA     Brown University, Trauma Studies (honors), 2006 


Books and Articles

Floating Coast: An Environmental History of the Bering Strait, W.W. Norton, 2019

The Walrus and the Bureaucrat: Energy, Ecology, and Making the State in the Russian and American Arctic, 1870-1950,” The American Historical Review, Vol. 124, No. 2 (April 2019): 483–510

"Grounding Capitalism: Geology, Labor, and the Nome Gold Rush," chapter in A Global History of the Gold Rusheseds. Stephen Tuffnell and Benjamin Mountford (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2018)

“More Things on Heaven and Earth: Modernism and Reindeer in Chukotka and Alaska,” chapter in Northscapes: History, Technology, and the Making of Northern Environments, eds. Dolly Jørgensen and Sverker Sörlin (Victoria: University of British Columbia Press, 2013)

“Law on the Land: Contesting Ethical Authority in the Western Arctic,” Ethnohistory, Vol. 60, No. 3 (2013): 469-483


"Soviet Environment, Capitalist World," review of Andy Bruno's The Nature of Soviet Power: An Arctic Environmental History in Kritika, Vol. 19 No. 1, Winter 2018

"Men, Ice, and Failure: New Histories of Arctic Exploration,"  lead essay in Reviews in American History, Vol. 45 No. 4, December 2017

Review of The Sea is My Country: The Maritime World of the Makahs by Joshua Reid, H-Environment Roundtable Review, Vol. 7, No. 2, July 2017

Review of The Russian Conquest of the Arctic, by Paul Josephson, H-Net Reviews, July 2016

Review of Empire of Extinction: Russians and the North Pacific's Strange Beasts of the Sea, 1741-1867, by Ryan Tucker Jones, The Journal of Pacific History, June 2015

Review of Chelovek i priroda na ob'-Irtyshskkom severe 1917-1930 [People and Nature in the
Northern Ob-Irtysh 1917-1930] by E.I. Gololobov in Environment and History, Vol. 20, No. 4 (November 2015): 638-640.

This Arctic Life: Review of ‘The Reindeer Botanist: Alf Erling Porsild, 1901-1977,’” H-Net Reviews, April 2013  

Other Writing

Harvesting Light: New England Whaling in the Nineteenth Century,” teaching module for Yale Energy History

Statehood and Other Events: Whales, Alaska Natives, and Perspectives on History,” post for Process: A Blog for American History

More Voices, New Sources: Using Historical Documents to Diversify a Survey Syllabus,” post for Environmental History Now

What Made the Thule Move? Climate and Culture in the High Arctic,” post for Historical Climatology

Contributing Author for the Chukotka section of the Arctic Council’s Adaptation Actions for a Changing Arctic

Fellowships & Grants

2019 Henry Merritt Wriston Fellowship 2019 Cogut Institute for the Humanities Faculty Fellowship 2018 Richard B. Salomon Faculty Research Award 2017 Institute at Brown for Environment and Society Seed Grant 2015 Mellon-ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship 2014 Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley Reinhardt Bendix Memorial Fellowship 2013 Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship, Russia 2012 US Student Fulbright, Russia (declined) 2012 IREX Individual Advanced Research Opportunities Fellowship, Russia (declined) 2012 American Councils Title VIII Research Scholar Fellowship, Russia (declined) 2010 Jacob J. Javits Fellowship 2010 Critical Language Fellowship for Russian, U.S. State Department 2010 Academic Year FLAS for Russian (declined) 2009 Academic Year FLAS for Russian 2009 Joe Lurie Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Fellowship, University of California, Berkeley 2006 Pembroke Center Undergraduate Fellowship, Brown University


 2017    U.C. Berkeley Friends of Cal Award for Best Dissertation in History                                                                           2012    Association of Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies National Graduate Student Essay Prize                  2012    U.C. Berkeley Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award
 2010    Guervich Prize in Russian History, University of California, Berkeley
 2005   Preston Gurney Prize in Literary Criticism, Brown University


Selected Conference Presentations    

2019 “Writing North Pacific History Through its Ecosystems: Russia, the United States, and Trophic Change,” at Ocean, Island Shore: Placing the Global Pacific in the Age of Climate Change, Harvard University Center for the Environment

2019 “Trophic Interventions: Examining How Energy History Might Think with Ecosystems, Yale Energy Humanities Workshop

2019 “The Scorn of the President (and the Present): Teaching and Writing Politicized Histories in the Age of Trump,” American Historical Association, Chicago

2018 “Transnational Approaches to Soviet History,” American Society for East European and Eurasian Studies, Boston

2018    "'Whales, Few and Wild': Bowheads and the Role of the Nonhuman in Early North Pacific Capitalism," Crossing Species and Cultures: New Histories of Pacific Whaling, University of Hawaii at Mānoa

2018    "Whales, Whalers, and Thinking the Ocean through Cetacean Labor," Earth(ly) Matters: New Directions in the Environmental Humanities, Brown University

2018    "Soviet Whaling in the Russian Far East: Making Socialist Utopia at Sea 1930s-1970s," German Historical Institute Conference on the Russian Far East, Moscow 

2018    "Harvesting Light: Whaling as Energy Production," round-table presentation on teaching energy history, American Society for Environmental History, Riverside CA 

2017    "The Geology of Capitalism: Materiality in the Nome Gold Rush, 1898-1905," Sovereignty, Economy and the Global Histories of Natural Resources, Magdalene College, Cambridge UK

2017    "From Local Practice to Transnational Conservation: Yupik and Chukchi Influence on Marine Mammal Policy, 1900-1960," American Society for East European and Eurasian Studies, Chicago 

2017    "Future Directions in Energy History," European Society for Environmental History, Zagreb, Croatia 

2017    "The Place of Arctic Animals," panel at the Ninth International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences (ICASS IX) in Umea, Sweden

2017    “Call of the Domestic: Huskies, Prospectors, and Inupiat in the Nome Gold Rush,” American Society for Environmental History, Chicago

2016    "The Unruly Walrus: Sea Mammals, Hunting, and Spatial Politics along the Bering Strait," the American Society for Ethnohistory, Nashville

2016    “From Limitless to Precious: Conservation in Capitalist and Communist Oceans,” the American Society for Environmental History, Seattle

2015    “The Energy of Borders: Ecology, Walrus Hunting, and Sovereignty at the Bering Straits,” the History of Energy and the Environment conference, Harvard 

2015     “Transnational Animals and Local Empires: Russian Sealing in the North Pacific,” the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies, Philadelphia

2015    “Emptying the North Pacific: Conceptions of Whales as a Non-Renewable Resource,” the American Society for Environmental History in Washington, D.C.

2014    “Ice in the Machine: Ecology and Ideology in Chukchi Collectives,” the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies, San Antonio, Texas

2014    “Soviet Development and the Arctic Environment in Chukotka,” the German Historical Institute “The Soviet Arctic,” Moscow

2013    “Levels of Adaptation:  Humans and Fur Seals as Actors in North Pacific Globalization,” Berkeley International and Global History Conference, U.C. Berkeley

2012    “James Scott’s High Modernism and Soviet History: Still a Useful Approach?” the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies, New Orleans

2012     “More Things on Heaven and Earth: Modernism and Reindeer in the Bering Straits,” European Society for Environmental History Summer School, St. Petersburg, Russia

2012    “Composing the Fur Seal: Globalization and Human Adaptation in the North Pacific,” the American Society for Environmental History conference, Madison

2011    “Laws of the Land: Gwitchin Understandings of Place in the Era of Land Claims,” the Seventh International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences (ICASS VII), Akureyri, Iceland

2010    “Isolation vs. Integration: Negotiating with the State in the Western Arctic,” the American Society for Ethnohistory conference, Ottawa



Interests:     Russian and Soviet History, United States History, Environmental History, Borderlands, Pacific History, Marine History, History of Capitalism

Spring 2019 From the Dog Sled to the Oil Rig: Arctic Environmental History, first-year seminar

Fall 2018     Powering the Past: Environmental Histories of Energy Use and Social Change, upper-level lecture 

Fall 2017     Readings in Environmental History, graduate field seminar 

Spring 2017, 2018, 2019    From the Colombian Exchange to Climate Change: Human Impacts on the Global Environment Since 1492,  introductory environmental history lecture

Fall 2016, Spring 2018    The Anthropocene: The Past and Present of Environmental Change, upper-division writing-intensive seminar for Environmental Studies majors      

Fall 2016    Powering the Past: Energy History, junior-senior seminar


Invited Talks & Presentations

2019 “The Value of Blubber: Soviet Whaling and the Cold War,” Elihu Rose Lectures in Modern Military History at the Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia, New York University

2019 “In the Shelter of the Ice: Bowhead Whales and Human Uses of Sea Ice,” University of Victoria IdeaFest 2019

2019 “The Ethical Lives of Whales: Bowhead Hunts and Adaptations in the Bering Strait, 1848-1968,” Biennial Whaling History Symposium, New Bedford Whaling Museum

2018 “Making the Ideological Reindeer: Ecology and Ideology in the Bering Strait, 1840s-1980s,” University of Indiana Russian and East European Institute

2018 "Where Ideology and Ecology Meet: Telling Russian and American Environmental History at the Bering Strait, 1840-1980,” Massachusetts Institute of Technology Seminar on Environmental and Agricultural History

2018 “Caloric Values,” presented at the University of Michigan Russian Studies Kruzhok

2018 “What is a Whale: Economics, Entropy, and Cosmologies of the Nonhuman” Unnatural Disasters Conference, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

2018  "Old Energy Stories from the Western Arctic," Georgetown University 

2017  "Species of Transition: People, Dogs, and the Making of Hybrid Borderlands in Gold Rush Alaska," O. Meredith Wilson Symposium, University of Utah  

2017  "Where Ideology and Ecology Meet: Telling Russian and American Environmental History at the Bering Strait," Brandeis University Russian History Kruzhok 

2017  "Species of Transition: People, Dogs, and the Making of Hybrid Spaces in Gold Rush Alaska," The Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America, Brown University 

2016  "Agency Sits in Places: Ecology and Ideology in the Bering Strait, 1840s-1980s," colloquium at the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Brown University

2016  "Arctic Powers: How Ecology Shaped Ideas in the Bering Strait, 1848-1988," Institute at Brown for Environment and Society 

2016  "Agency Sits in Places: Ecology and Ideology in the Bering Strait, 1840s-1980s," colloquium at the Department of History, University of California, Berkeley


Service and Leadership

2018-present Founding Member & Steering Committee, Environmental Humanities at Brown

2018-2019        Faculty Fellow at the Haffenreffer Museum, Brown University 

2017-2019         Joukowsky Institute Fellow, Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Brown 

2014-2019     Assistant Director of Historical Climatology and the Climate History Network

2016-2018     Member, John Carter Brown Library Academic Advisory Committee, Brown 

2015-2016      Developed grade and high school curriculum materials on the environmental history of the Dust Bowl in the American West with the Berkeley History-Social Science Project

2014-2016      Co-founder of Berkeley’s Environmental Science & History working group, including organizing bi-monthly meetings, managing grant budget

2013-2014    Graduate Student Liaison for the American Society for Environmental History, projects included leading the Graduate Student Caucus, launching a new mentoring program, increasing graduate student involvement, creating a social media presence

2010-2011    Co-managed the Berkeley Russian History Kruzhok, including writing small grants, overseeing the budget, and arranged presentations by Berkeley and visiting academics

2009-2015    Founding member of the Berkeley International and Global History group and lead organizer of the third bi-annual conference     


Related Experience

2014-2015    Wrote general-audience reviews of environmentally focused social science projects for the Berkeley Social Science Matrix

2007-2009    United States Peace Corps Volunteer, Republic of Moldova; worked with victims of domestic violence and human trafficking, developed grants and materials in Romanian and Russian, helped establish the first local therapy program for abusers     

2006-2007    Resident Graduate Adviser, Brown University, mentored undergraduate peer counselors and organized academic and social activities for a dorm of 500 students  

Summer 2006    Analyst at the Carter Center, wrote briefings on events in the Middle East 

Summer 2004   French and English-language research for Carolyn Dean, Brown University      

1999-2002    Worked with local Salmon Fisheries and Porcupine Caribou Management Board  member in Old Crow, Yukon; participated in all aspects of seasonal subsistence  actives, including salmon harvest, hunting, long-distance dog sledding

Russian, Romanian, French (reading)